News & Multimedia

Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies

Tim Wardrop, one of open-wheel racing's most respected engineers, died Oct. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 62.

The British-born Wardrop is probably best known in the United States for serving as the engineer for Arie Luyendyk when two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Luyendyk established the still-unbroken all-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying speed records. Qualifying on the second day of time trials in 1996 - the final year until 2012 for turbocharged engines - Luyendyk recorded four consecutive laps at an average speed of 236.986 mph and a single lap at 237.492 mph. A couple of days earlier, during practice, Luyendyk had turned an unofficial lap at an astonishing 239.260 mph.

A year later, Wardrop was engineer for the historic one-two finish by Treadway Racing with Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear.

Wardrop was an ex-Formula One mechanic with both Williams and McLaren, and in 1977 with the independent Walter Wolf team when Jody Scheckter finished second in the world championship. Wardrop was recently described by one former crew chief and official as being "beyond brilliant," while associates long ago nicknamed him "Doctor Who," after the genius superhero of a popular, long-running British science-fiction TV series.

Attempting to chronicle Wardrop's career is challenging because he helped with so many teams and companies over the years. For example, in 1992 he was the engineer on Goodyear's runner-up-finishing Lola for Derrick Walker's team while also having worked closely with Galmer designer Alan Mertens on the Rick Galles entry driven to victory by Al Unser Jr.

Wardrop was the engineer for Willy T. Ribbs when Ribbs made history by becoming the first African-American to qualify for the "500" in 1991. And when Ribbs made his second start in 1993, Wardrop also was in charge of that car's engineering.

An engineer for March Engineering for eight years, and later heavily involved with the "rebirth" of G-Force under Don Panoz, Wardrop indirectly could lay claim to a number of poles and wins, in addition to having worked at Indianapolis with teams like Newman/Haas, Team Menard, Fred Treadway, A.J. Foyt, Derrick Walker, PDM and others. He also worked with many leading drivers besides Luyendyk and Goodyear, including Michael Andretti, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tom Sneva, Teo Fabi, Bruno Junqueira, Robby Gordon and Scott Brayton, and most recently in May with Jean Alesi.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies
 
Record-Setting Indianapolis 500 Engineer Wardrop Dies
Tim Wardrop, one of open-wheel racing's most respected engineers, died Oct. 27 after a lengthy illness. He was 62.
Read More
Related Media
Marc Marquez
 
Marquez Finishes Ahead of Riders After Second Sepang Test
Repsol Honda will be delighted by the way Marquez, whose first day was ruined by a brake problem, responded to dominate the last two days. For the Spaniard, his main focus was on evaluating different chassis types, and tweaking the set ups on each to find the one he prefers.
Read More
Joey Logano
 
Logano Captures His First Daytona 500 Victory
The record will reflect that Joey Logano won Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500 under caution, when a multicar wreck on the backstretch forced NASCAR to wave the yellow flag as Logano led the field into the final corner on the second lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish.
Read More
Chevrolet
 
Chevrolet Details IndyCar Aero Kit Process
With three consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ championships to their credit, Chevrolet has invested a lot of additional resources to ensure it earns Number 4 at by the end of the season.
Read More
Sage Karam
 
Karam to Race in St. Petersburg
Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, confirmed that he'll be on the grid for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing GE LED Chevrolet.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
500 Champions Already Have One Eye on New-Look Month of May
Five Verizon IndyCar Series regulars will come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May looking to add to their champion resumes at the Indianapolis 500.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,817
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Can you name these five #Indy500 champions in this #TBT photo from 1954? Answer on The Blog: http://t.co/81AXb5PM9Y http://t.co/VChm3HEm4C
about 6 hours ago